Monday, March 30, 2009

Cafe Habana is my Cuban friend

I've been waiting a long time to write this post. Ever since I started this site the first place that came to my mind was Cafe Habana. This is my go-to spot, my love, it starts and ends here for me. I even break my Yom Kippur fasts here like a good Jewish boy. I have so much love for this tiny Cuban place in Manhattan's Nolita neighborhood, its hard for me to put into words. But I'll try.

Known for its cheap good food and great scenery outside (ie models), this hipster spot actually has 3 locations, the restaurant, take-out spot, and an eco-friendly offshoot in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. I have been to all three, but I always gravitate to the small cramped take-out location. It's full of character and interesting people. Perch yourself up on a bar stool that faces Elizabeth street and just enjoy.

The first dozen or so times I went here I would always get the grilled corn and steak sandwich. I've since visited dozens more times and ventured out to other amazing items on the menu. But since this is my first post on Cafe Habana (believe me, there will be many more), I went for my favorite combo. Behold! It's glorious!

The corn on the cob is sooooo freaking good, it deserves it's own photo (sorry, the flash on my camera was alittle over zealous). The corn is put on the grill, getting each kernel nice and charred. Then they smear mayo on it (sounds weird, its not), cover it with Mexican cojito cheese and then sprinkle it with chili powder. To finish this bad boy off, you squeeze fresh lime juice all over it. This wonderful mix of salty, smoky, cheesy, spicy, citrusy goodness is one of the most amazing things I've ever put in my mouth(please insert joke here_____ ).

I would call myself a steak sandwich connoisseur. Given a menu, I lean toward the steak sandwich 8 out of 10 times. I have to say, this is an UNREAL steak sandwich. Only maybe Pastis has a better one, and I wouldn't even say better, just different. For ROI, this is the hands down winner. As you can see from the 2nd picture the bread is grilled, nice and crusty. They fill it with medium-rare chunks of skirt steak, topped with marinated red onions and peppers. The real kicker is the chipote mayo spread on the fresh bread. Besides the steak itself, I think what really makes this sandwich is the bread, it takes it to a whole other level.

I joke that I took my current job because of it's proximity to this place, yea, I joke. Seriously though, having the ability to eat here whenever I want is truly a blessing that I cherish.



  1. I have been grubbing with you there and it's bomb as shit! Send me some corn and a sandy overnight in a ice box! THANKS BATLOVER!

  2. That bread looks great to...for me to poop ON!

  3. you are going to have to get your ass to NY for this bomb corn.